Strangeways Here We Come (CD)


The Smiths

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Amoeba Review

Michael Keefe 06/16/2010

The Smiths' fourth and final studio album, Strangeways, Here We Come, is nearly equal to the masterpiece that preceded it, The Queen Is Dead. The Manchester quartet's swan song is their most polished effort, but it's not overly slick. "I Started Something I Couldn't Finish" possesses the same loose rockabilly charm as Meat Is Murder's "Rusholme Ruffians," but adds horns and a new twist for singer Morrissey: sexual aggression. "Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before" is a punchy jangle-pop tune that's as catchy and slyly humorous as any of the band's best numbers. (Few lines in pop music can rival "The pain was enough to make a shy, bald Buddhist reflect and plan a mass murder.") The Smiths show great range on Strangeways, too. UK #13 single "Girlfriend in a Coma" is both tender and cheekily maudlin at the same time, as Johnny Marr unfurls twinkling guitar arpeggios during the gently bouncing verses before the song swells into synth orchestrations on the chorus. The slow and dramatic "Last Night I Dreamt that Somebody Loved Me" continues in the tradition of gorgeously self-pitying songs like "I Know It's Over" and "Never Had No One Ever," while "Paint a Vulgar Picture" is a melodic, mid-tempo song about the vulturous nature of the music industry, and "Death of a Disco Dancer" is a wide-open, slow-burning rocker that culminates in swirling organ, mad piano tinkling, banging drums, and a rare guitar solo from Marr. Nearly topping the charts in England and going Gold in America, Strangeways, Here We Come is an often overlooked gem in The Smiths' too-brief canon.



Track Listing



Disc 1 Titles
Artist
Length
1.
A Rush and a Push and the Land Is Ours
The Smiths 03:00
2.
I Started Something I Couldn't Finish
The Smiths 03:45
3.
Death of a Disco Dancer
The Smiths 05:25
4.
Girlfriend in a Coma
The Smiths 02:02
5.
Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before
The Smiths 03:32
6.
Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me
The Smiths 05:02
7.
Unhappy Birthday
The Smiths 02:45
8.
Paint a Vulgar Picture
The Smiths 05:35
9.
Death at One's Elbow
The Smiths 01:58
10.
I Won't Share You
The Smiths 02:49

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